After a brilliant pre season and continued call ups by the Greek national team, Apostolos Vellios still cannot seem to impress Mark Warburton.
As the first international break of the season commenced last weekend, it was the first opportunity for the 25 year old striker to play competitive football since last season.
Vellios was capped by Greece against Estonia and Belgium respectively as the former European champions lost ground in their quest to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
It’s ironic that most Championship players use the international break as a chance to rest up, yet for Apostolos Vellios it was his first chance to kick a ball in anger.
After the way in which he applied himself during the pre season campaign I fully expected him to be a regular in the Forest side for the opening five games in the Championship.
Like many Reds supporters I’m baffled to see that not only has he been excluded from the league fixtures, but he has been ignored for the Carabao cup ties as well.
I had a very different view of the striker this time last year and I wasn’t very complimentary towards him if I’m honest.
However; he has done little wrong this time around and there has to be an underlying reason for his absence.
At first I just thought that Mark Warburton preferred a certain type of front man but the fact that he’s not been given a solitary minute of game time hints at something more sinister.
When you’re behind Tyler Walker in the pecking order at the club alarm bells start to ring, that’s no slight on the youngster at all by the way.
I’m beginning to think that the Forest manager generally dislikes his Greek striker because his omission certainly can’t be for footballing reasons.
I’m well aware that pre season friendlies count for little and have no real bearing on how the season ahead will pan out, but you can tell a lot about a player’s intentions.
Vellios looked very sharp in the summer months and what impressed me most was his movement in and around the box, the very thing that I berated him for this time last year.
Against Mansfield Town he looked unplayable at times and when a striker is scoring freely at any level it’s a statement of intent.
Towards the end of last season Apostolos Vellios became the “nearly man”, every time he entered the game from the bench he got into great positions and was denied by the woodwork several times.
Had a couple of those attempts gone the right side of the goal posts I think he’d have been much harder to ignore for selection.
But, as I alluded to earlier, there has to be something personal going off and it needs addressing quickly.
To the neutral looking in at the club, it must look overwhelmingly suspicious that a 25-year-old is in demand for a country that’s won more major trophies than England in the last 15 years, than for the very people who pay his wages.
If things aren’t resolved then Nottingham Forest could lose their striker come the next transfer window.